Urinary track infections can cause lots of pain and discomfort. Learn how to treat them with home remedies and drugs.
More and more people get really concerned about their health. We cannot know everything about any disease. That’s why one of the frequent questions is: What is urinary tract infection or UTI?
For a regular person it isn’t that easy to understand the meaning of this term. However, you need to know it. So, what is the common urinary tract infection? It’s described as infection, which affects the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. As any other disease, it has its causes and symptoms. What’s important to mention is that women are much more liable to it than men are. Of course, special treatment is necessary for it.
Causes of urinary tract infection
To be successfully cured it’s necessary to start UTI treatment as soon as possible. To do it, you must know about the signs of urinary tract infection and factors, which can lead to it. The common causes include:
Sex. It is considered the most widespread reason of UTIs in women (70-95%). The risks depend on the frequency of the intercourse. The term honeymoon cystitis has been added to this cause. It concerns the cases of this disease during early marriage. The risk might be increased by the spermicide application as well.
And in such cases, the possibility of disease won’t depend on sex frequency. It’s necessary to say that women are more vulnerable, because their urethra’s shorter and closer to anus. Concerning UTIs in men, it can appear because of the chronic prostatitis. The older the male is, the higher risks become.
Urinary catheterization. Bacteria might appear in urine (bacteriuria). Antibiotics for urinary tract infection are useless in this situation. There is only a chance to decrease the risks by means of antiseptics usage and catheterizing only when it’s necessary.
Circumcision. The foreskin removal from penis may also cause UTIs.
Large prostate. It leads to incomplete bladder emptying and raise the possibility of infection.
Diabetes makes you more vulnerable as well.
Obstructions in UT, like kidney stones.
Now you know the answer “what is urinary tract infection?” and principal causes of it.
UTI diagnosing and treatment
To set a right diagnosis, you must be aware of the symptoms of UTI. The common ones include:
- Burning feeling while urinating. If you feel anything like this, it’s better to consult a doctor, because it’s the first sign of the disease.
- Pressure/pain in the back or abdomen. If you’re male, the pain might appear in the rectum, if you’re female – in the pubic bone area.
- Fever/chills. It’s a symptom for various diseases, so make sure you’ve at least one another.
- Unusual urine. It might look bloody or dark. Besides, the smell may be strange.
- Intense urge for urination. Even if you can let out only small amounts of it.
- Bedwetting. It isn’t obligatory, but it sometimes occurs.
- Shaking and tiredness. Along with the fever, they are very common.
Thus, if you’ve two or more of those signs you must call the doctor and make the diagnosis.
To make sure you have (or don’t have) an infection, the urine test is necessary. It will detect the blood and bacteria in your urine. In the women’s case, for the specialist it’s usually enough to ask about the symptoms.
It is can be done at home (if there’re no other prescriptions). To cure UTI you’ll need:
Drugs. It’s the most common medicine. They may include Fosfomycin, Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, and many others.
Antibiotics. Even after all symptoms are gone (it usually happens in several days), you must take antibiotics for a couple of weeks. It’s better to complete the whole course prescribed. Sometimes, when your condition isn’t that bad, the doctor may prescribe you to take them for a few days and that’s all.
Analgesic. It’s a pain medication, which might be necessary for relieving a burning feeling while urinating. However, in some cases, it isn’t obligatory, because antibiotics work well. Moreover, this medicine has a side effect – discolored urine.
Methenamine hippurate. There exist people who cannot take antibiotics, so they are prescribed the other medication. It changes chemical composition of the urine. It makes it less prone to bacteria. However, it may have certain side effects, such as rashes, indigestion, and itchy skin.
You see that treatment is quite easy, but you should know that there’re cases, which require hospitalization. Among them, there are:
- age (over 60),
- small amounts of urine,
- blockage in kidneys,
- repetitive UTIs,
- severe pain,
- vomiting, etc.
Urinary tract infection home remedies
Many people don’t like visiting a doctor. Some of them just don’t want to wait and are looking for a kind of relieve. There’re plenty of domestic means to feel more comfortable. Their list contains the following:
- Water. It will probably surprise you, but excess water will be very helpful in this case. It is able to flush away bacteria. An average adult needs about 80 ounces.
- Herbals. You can take bearberry leaf for about five days (not more, otherwise, it may cause liver damage). Another herb is goldenseal. Don’t forget to tell your doctor what you’re taking, because it may come into reaction with the drugs.
- Vitamin C. With the help of it your urine will get more acid, which prevents the bacterial growth.
- Heat. A heat pad might be very useful, because it will sooth the area of pain and pressure. Nevertheless, don’t apply it directly to the skin. About fourteen minutes at a time will be enough.
- Avoid bladder irritants. There are products, which can affect your bladder in a negative way. Try to exclude them from your diet. Among such foods, there are:
- spicy food,
- carbonated drinks,
- artificial sweeteners,
Consequences of untreated urinary infections
Nothing bad will happen if you start treating your disease. However, if you just leave it as it is, there might be various consequences. The most serious complications include:
- Permanent kidney damage. It can even become chronic.
- Pregnancy risks may occur. It leads to low birth weight or even premature children.
- Recurrent infections. If you’ve left it untreated just once, it can repeat many times throughout your life.
- Sepsis. It is a life-threatening complication.
- Urethral narrowing. It usually happens to men.
These are the most widespread consequences of the untreated urinary tract infection. If you don’t want to make things worse, it’s obligatory to consult the specialist and take necessary measures.
UTI is contagious and easy treating disease. Nevertheless, it’s necessary to know about possible symptoms in order to detect it. If you have them, you should consult the doctor, who will lead special tests and prescribe medicine, including drugs and antibiotics.
If you don’t want to wait, you may start treatment at home, as there are lots of ways to relieve your pain. Drink water, use heat pad and take herbs, but always tell your doctor about it. These factors may influence your prescriptions and choice of medications. Start treatment as soon as possible in order to avoid serious complications.
READ ALSO: 5 Health Warnings From Your Urine Colour.